Community Shop is the new alternative to food banks

A new social supermarket is doing its bit to tackle three problems in society at once.
First of all, it is tackling the fact that thousands of tons of food is wasted every year by supermarkets who throw out food that is surplus or has had its packaging damaged, but can still be eaten. The Community Shop, located in London, buys this surplus to sell on, alleviating the food wastage issue.
It then uses that food, which it acquires cheaply, to help those who can’t afford a lot of groceries. Through a membership scheme, which requires members to be both local and on certain benefits, it sells at a greatly reduced rate to customers who struggle to put the funds together to make a weekly shop.
Thirdly, members are only allowed to be members for six months, but in that time, they can also seek help at the store, which also has a cafe, covering similar issues as a job centre: CVs, applying for jobs, how to conduct yourself in a job interview, etc.
This three pronged approach is, hopefully, going to impact the community and help those who are struggling, not only in the short term, but also in the long term, to make themselves more employable.
The shop is backed by the mayor of London and the London Food Board. Chair of the LFB, Rosie Boycott, said: “The problem is bigger than any one project. But, what’s brilliant about this is it’s a business, it is self sustaining… what we’ve done by doing that, is put some dignity back. It’s tough to go to a food bank. I don’t think it is going to be tough to walk in here, in fact, I think it is going to be a really nice experience.”